Gemma and Flash
Meet Gemma from Gems's Wholesome Kitchen and Flash. A mum to two beautiful children Hendrix and Carmen, Gemma has grown a hugely successful business here in Brighton.
"My business was born in Barcelona in the days before Brighton. ‘Gem’s Vegan Takeaway’ started from our fourth-floor old-style apartment in the Gothic quarter. The kids were babies and one day a friend asked me to cook lunch for them and then another friend and it spiralled from there. Within a month I was cooking for twenty or so people every day and making vegan bento boxes for travelling DJ’s as they were so sick of airline food. Every day I would cook a different vegan dish, such as my Lentil Shepherd’s Pie or Burrito Bowl. The business grew by word of mouth and my passion for finding and adapting new plant-based recipes grew even more.
I have loved cooking ever since I can remember. As the youngest of five I grew up in a large bustling family without much money and our house was always full. I was taught how to cook at a young age by my wonderful mum, she tells me at around eight I was cooking meals for the entire family. My mother was a midwife who frequently worked night shifts, so my siblings and I had to look after the jobs. I was the only one who wanted to cook the dinner and I hated cleaning so I would swap jobs with my siblings and soon became the family cook most nights.
I suffered from an eating disorder as a young teen and was really poorly. I am not quite sure how I recovered but I did. I am grateful for the huge impact it has had with my relationship with food and how it taught me to feed my body with nutritious healthy food. When I was poorly I didn’t enjoy anything to do with eating but I was still obsessed with cooking and I read hundreds of cookery books. Now I try and enjoy each mouthful and that’s why making my food look so inviting means so much to me. It gives me a boost, shows that I care about the food I am going to eat and makes me mindful of how nourishing it is."
She is the proud author of a brand new book 'the self-care cookbook" available at @penguinrandomhouse and @eburybooks which is packed full of easy healing plant based recipes and would make the perfect gift for absolutely anyone who wants to nourish themselves and feel good.
Meet Lucy, Yoga Teacher, Event Organiser, DJ and Radio Presenter.
"This may come as a surprise to you, but those close to me know I can be super self-critical...something I've been working hard on to let go of over the years. Behind the confident facade I am full of doubt. I'm loud and super sociable but worry constantly about what people think of me. As a teenager I hated myself. As an adult I have also hated myself. I've thrown myself head first into this whole yoga thing and sometimes I worry what people think. I worry they think I'm a fraud, that I'm rubbish at sequencing, that I shouldn't be teaching if I can't do a handstand. I mean WTAF? Deep down though, when I am in a good place, I know that I have a lot to give. I love teaching yoga with all my soul.
Meet Aye, Founder of 'Fu Fighters' Burmese Chickpea Tofu maker, Changing Tofu one batch at a time.
"My entire childhood, since moving from Burma in 1981, was spent eating the most delicious home-cooked Burmese food. It wasn’t until I started following a plant-based diet in the summer of 2017, whilst chatting with my mum in her kitchen, that I realised that my most beloved ‘Burmese tofu’, was made from chickpeas…and not soya like the others. This tofu was so much tastier, fuller and more wholesome than it’s soy-sibling. That very afternoon, Su-Su showed me how she made it, what she used to flavour it, the exact smell of when it is ready and the best way to cook and eat it afterwards. Armed with my passed down wisdom, off I went home to Brighton, to make batch after batch after batch."
Look out for Tohu in all The best eating places in Brighton and give it a try, it's so good.
Meet Rachel, Musician, NLP Practitioner, Hypnotherapist and mama to 2 incredible boys.
Meet Annabelle, 'I design fabrics and yoga wear for active women who want to feel and look good. I'm inspired by nature and my surroundings in the Sussex Downs. My activewear is for conscious, ethically minded women who care about the environment and I'm a supporter of the body positive movement, so all sizes looking and feeling great.' Backed by Natwest "Back her Business" scheme with Crowdfunder.
Dame Donna Kinnair
Meet Donna, Dame of the British Empire. Following her training as a nurse, Kinnair worked with HIV and intensive care patients in East London. She subsequently worked as a health visitor in Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets and pursued further studies, gaining a master's degree in medical law and ethics. Her new qualifications led her to focus on child protection in south London. Notably she was one of four expert advisors in the 2001 Laming enquiry into the death of eight year old Victoria Climbie.